Designing engineering experiences to engage all students

Christine M. Cunningham, Cathy P. Lachapelle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

73 Scopus citations


As we introduce engineering into K-12 education, we must work vigilantly from its inception to ensure that it is inviting and engaging for all students, particularly those who are underserved, underperforming, or underrepresented in STEM fields, including girls, minorities, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students with individualized education plans, and English-language learners. There is much that curriculum design can do to foster equity in elementary engineering. Based on educational literature and our experiences working in classrooms, we developed a set of 14 inclusive design principles for curricula and materials that guided the development of our curriculum, Engineering is Elementary. Here we articulate these principles, describe them, link them to relevant literature, and provide some examples of how they have influenced design decisions and classroom outcomes. Our set of principles is not offered as a comprehensive list but rather as a starting place that should be discussed, researched, and revised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineering in Pre-College Settings
Subtitle of host publicationSynthesizing Research, Policy, and Practices
PublisherPurdue University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781612493572
ISBN (Print)9781557536914
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Engineering


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